Monday, November, 09, 2009

U.S. Afghan Strategy: The Big Questions



U.S. Afghan Strategy: The Big Questions

Peter Bergen, Stephen Biddle, Gilles Dorronsoro, Jessica Tuchman Mathews Monday, November 09, 2009 – Washington, DC


American soldier in Kandahar ProvinceAs debate on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan continues, the big strategic questions sometimes get lost in the noise over troop numbers. Panelists will address:

  • Should the United States focus its campaign in Afghanistan and Pakistan on al Qaida alone? Or on al-Qaida and the Taliban?  
  • Would a counterterrorism strategy suffice? If not, what kind of a counterinsurgency strategy should be prosecuted—one that  concentrates forces in major cities and the North and not engage the Taliban in the Pashtun countryside or one that confronts the Taliban directly in order to, as General McChrystal argues, break the momentum of the insurgency? 
  • Does the current strategy in Afghanistan conflict with other American national interests, including economic renewal at home and the stabilization of Pakistan?
  • How does the current and evolving U.S. strategy affect the interests of other regional actors around Afghanistan?